Sydney: The report on cricket match-fixing prepared by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) continues to rock Australian cricket after its public release, with Australian suspicions about batsman Mark Waugh's involvement in the whole episode being rekindled. The 162-page report, based on the unverified testimonies of several Indian bookmakers' to the CBI, says that Mark Waugh took $ 20,000, and not $ 4,000, from Mukesh Kumar Gupta, a bookmaker, for providing information on pitch and weather conditions, as earlier stated. As a result of the revelations in this document, which various media commentators have praised as a job well done, the demand to initiate an inquiry against the alleged Australian participation in the match-fixing has once again gained momentum. The focus has shifted to Mark Waugh, who is attending an Australian team training camp in Queensland for the forthcoming Test series against the West Indies. The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) had so far stoically rejected every suggestion to re-initiate the investigations into the allegations of corruption against the Australian cricketers. Unlike other Test-playing countries like India and Pakistan, they had not suspended the players who were under suspicion or had even admitted to taking bribes. But now the ACB mandarins seem to be yielding to the pressure, which has been building up in the recent days. Malcolm Speed, the ACB chief executive, has been quoted as saying that the Board are willing to investigate any "credible allegation" levelled against any Australian cricketer. But he emphasised that only substantiated facts should be put up. "At this stage, the Indian police report has not been made public and it remains a confidential report within the Indian government. The only detail we have received has come through the media. The ACB is yet to see any element of the document that would allow it to make an informed assessment of the issues as they relate to Australia," Speed said. He also promised to get a copy of the report from the Indian authorities and forward any verified allegation against the Australian cricketers to the ACB's special investigator, Greg Melick, for a thorough investigation of the issue. "Up until the time we are able to see the substance of the police report, there is little to be gained by adding to the speculation and conjecture that already exists around this issue," he said in a press release. Mark is one of the nine international and five Indian Test cricketers who have been mentioned in the report for their suspected involvement in cricket corruption. Interestingly, from Australian perspective, nothing much has been written about the extent to which the star Australian spinner, Shane Warne has been involved in the scandal which has rocked the international cricket world to its very foundations. The report has also absolved former Australian Test cricketer, Dean Jones from any wrongdoings. Jones had reacted furiously to the reports that his name figured in the CBI report. Much to the relief of the Victorian cricketer, the bulky submission has revealed that he had in fact refused a $ 40,000 offer to sell information to Indian bookmakers. The CBI report mentions that Mark took $ 20,000 during the 1994 One-day international series in India. He later told a Pakistan commission of inquiry that he had erred in his calculations of currency conversions and had in fact received $ 4,000 from the bookmaker whom he identified only as 'John' at that time. John Buchanan, the coach of the Australian team, has kept himself on the safe side, saying it is for the ACB to investigate the latest allegations provided evidence is there. "The Board have their own processes in place and if there is any evidence of any misdoing by any player they will put it through their system. But there is no substantiated evidence at this stage to suggest what's been stated is true," he said.
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India Abroad News Service
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